Gov. Hogan announces new actions to help hospitals through surge of COVID-19 cases

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Governor Larry Hogan held a press conference on Tuesday to update Marylanders on COVID-19 in the state.

On Monday, the governor contacted the Biden-Harris transition team to lay out Maryland’s most urgent priorities, especially the need for a stimulus relief package for small businesses and struggling families.

As of this morning, Maryland is up to 201,135 confirmed cases, including 2,765 new cases over the past 24 hours. The state’s 7-day positivity rate is 7.33%. COVID-related hospitalizations have increased by 51% over the past two weeks, and according to the state’s modeling, it is expected that the state will reach a new record high for hospitalizations in the coming days.

The governor also announced that the virus has taken the lives of 4,516 Marylanders, including the state’s youngest victim, a one-year-old boy, who passed away on Monday.

Hogan announced the launch of MarylandMedNow to help staff hospitals, nursing homes, testing sites, and vaccination clinics across the state. More information on that can be found here.

In addition, the state is requesting that all colleges and universities immediately develop emergency policies and procedures to award academic credit to students who are willing to serve in healthcare during the pandemic. Schools are also encouraged to allow healthcare students who are in their final semester and have satisfied graduation requirements to be eligible for “early exit” in order to quickly enter the workforce.

Hospitals and nursing homes are urged to begin utilizing unlicensed individuals to perform certain less critical tasks in order to free up nursing staff.

Effective immediately, hospitals are required to submit a Patient Surge Plan with strategies to expand hospital beds and make staffing surge adjustments. These plans must be submitted to the Maryland Department of Health by December 8th. Hospitals should also immediately begin adding or redeploying staff, reducing noncritical elective procedures that require a bed or ventilator, and transferring patients to other appropriate treatment facilities.

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News, Maryland